Video Games 101 Starts At MSU

University is offering two-year program as academic minor to fulfill demand in hot industry.
By Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
Local students looking to make a living by designing video games now can attend a school close to home.
Michigan State University is offering an academic program aimed at video game enthusiasts.
Beginning in September, MSU will give students a chance to study video games and design through its Specialization in Game Design and Development program.
"Game development is a very hot industry right now," said Brian Winn, co-founder of the program and an assistant professor of telecommunications, information studies and media at Michigan State.
"It's an important program for students who want to go into this as a career," Winn said.
"Games have been an important medium in our culture and important to study. (Games) have been pushing the forefront of technology."
The program is offered to students as an academic minor and will provide students with 15 credit hours for a four-course sequence of classes on video game design and the history and social aspects of video games.
It is geared toward students enrolled in computer sciences, telecommunications and studio arts.
"We've been actually offering many of these courses for several years but we decided to package them in a sequence of courses," Winn said.
The two-year program will be offered to only 80 students but there is a possibility that the number will grow, Winn said.
Scott Brodie, a MSU junior from Livonia, is hoping to be among the program's first students.
His interest in video games began when he was a 6-year-old playing Nintendo games.
This summer, 21-year-old Brodie is working at Stardock, a Livonia-based video game design company where he is doing an internship.
Brodie said he's glad MSU is giving students like himself a career opportunity that holds a deep interest for him and others like himself.
"It's a definite career field you can go into," Brodie said. "(Students) have been hoping for a program that deals with our passion."
You can reach Oralandar Brand-Williams at (313) 222-2027 or bwilliams@detnews.com.

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